Sunday, 28 July 2013

Childhood memories of the cottage


There were so many. At the time, it was heaven. From 1960 until I moved to Ottawa in 1981.
For only $2000 Mom and Dad bought our swamp-ridden lot.

I spent entire summers at the cottage. All of July and August. Long, lazy days filled with reading, swimming, hanging out. Then there was the boredom and loneliness!

While my mother worked the other three seasons, she took summers off to stay in her beloved Muskoka. My aunt and uncle, and another uncle and aunt, both had cottages a several of doors down. Dad commuted every Friday and Monday morning went back to work in Toronto.
It wasn't until I was older that I realized how much I missed by not going to camp. I realize how much the solitude shaped my personality. My brother went off to Air Cadet camp. I did not! I have never been camping.
Dad built a dike

Still not great in large groups, I prefer socializing in small numbers.

I just listened to This American Life:

109: Notes on Camp

JUL 26, 2013
Stories of summer camp. People who love camp say that non-camp people simply don't understand what's so amazing about camp. In this program, we attempt to bridge the gap of misunderstanding between camp people and non-camp people.


Ira Glass is right. It is a different summer experience. My kids attended camp. Jesse went to Scout camp, and later he worked as a camp counselor. He took kids for two-week canoe trips in Algonquin Park.
We couldn't afford a deck in the first years (1960-62)
Mom, myself, my brother and Aunt Adie

My cousin taking us canoeing
Eventually, Mom and Dad added sand 
to fill in the swamp.
It would be highly illegal these days.
We are losing precious shorelines, 
habitat upon which critters depend.
Dad in his beloved sailboat!
When I was a young child, it was a grand time. My cousins would turn up on weekends. They would take me boating. I remember water skiing behind their boat, using my great grandmother's wooden ironing board on which to kneel. Sadly, I am no longer in touch with my cousins, who are 20 years older than I am. We had some differences of opinion and they no longer speak to me.
Dad loved having a flag. You can see what was swamp.
It was the least amenable lot at the time. Dad worked hard on it.
The bullfrogs were huge and plentiful

The days were spent longing for friends, watching the frog pond, catching snakes, watching tadpoles. The flora and fauna were much more plentiful. I remember all the blood suckers. There were so many in those days that we kept a jar of table salt down be the lake shore. A bit of salt on the sucker and that sucker was a goner!
Jeremiah lives in my goldfish pond

Daisy is fascinated

9 comments:

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Summer camps are cool. When I was a kid, I went to church camps, camps run by the school district, scout camps, a bunch of them and loved them all.

Nowdays going to camp is like going to college. Son enrolls ahead of time for the activities he wants. Used to be everybody did everything. Signs of the times.

gigihawaii said...

I went camping with friends over a 3 day holiday and returned home with such a dark tan that I didn't recognize myself in the mirror. That was in 6th grade, and I have never camped since then. Memories...

George said...

You have some wonderful memories of your childhood at the cottage. Thank you for sharing them with us. I hope you are able to get a picture of Jeremiah sometime this year -- he's huge.

Judy said...

We didn't have a cottage, and I only went to camp once - hated it! But it is so fun seeing your childhood photos!!
Just noticed the bit in your sidebar about the cow parsnip - that stuff is evil. I still have the scars from the burns it gave me last summer!!!

Kay L. Davies said...

Ditto Judy's first line, although I went to camp twice, and going when I was 17 was a whole lot better than going when I was 9.
One of my great-aunts had a cottage on the north shore of Burrard Inlet, inland from Vancouver. It was the old oldfashioned kind, dim and cool and romantic: big wicker chairs made soft with cotton cushions, and a dock going into the water.
I only remember going there once, when I was quite young (under 10) but I've never forgotten it because it was so wonderful.
Looking forward to finding out how Jeremiah measures up this year!
K

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I think Jeremiah has widened, Kay!
This is a complaint of mine, too. Also self-inflicted!

Jesh St Germain said...

In my teen years my friends were my support. My relatives lived too far, and my parents were not too much connected with them. Maybe that's why I had so many BBQ parties at our house, so my kids had that feeling of belonging.

Red said...

Those were the days. It certainly shaped your life in many ways. I had a recreation lot and it certainly influenced my kids. They also went o camp. My lot is for sale and when my daughter was here a few weeks ago she went by it and stopped one more time.

Cloudia said...

lovely Summer memories

what a joy to share them with you, Jenn


ALOHA from Honolulu
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